Category Archives: sports

Monday Rounderp

Whoa. Number of things I’m getting done today: Zilcheroonie.

Well, that there’s the “beauty” of the way my disorganized mind works. It’s not that I got nothing done, just nothing on my list. I was going to work on finishing Friday’s “To Do” list, which got preempted by spending an afternoon with a friend whom I don’t get to see enough (which describes most of my friends, really, but I digress WHAT A SURPRISE) and so Friday’s list was to become Monday’s list and then I woke up this morning with an idea for reorganizing some bakeware in my overburdened kitchen cabinets and I figured I’d better act on it before the brilliance wore off and that led to my completely rearranging my living room furniture. Which kind of cut into my morning plans. By the time I took a lunch break, I’d pretty much written off getting anything done today (outside of a little freelance and packing weekend orders). But I have an obligation to you guys, and I shall not shirk my responsibilities! So here is this week’s Rounderp:

Nifty frosted glass Kansas tumbler from 1961 picked up at a thrift store.

Whoop whoop, after a day of errands and a brief thrift store adventure, I picked up my newly tuned-up and re-tired bike from the fine folks at The Bicycle Shack on Saturday! Buuuuut I didn’t have so much as a minute to test ride it, as we were leaving promptly to go to Colorado National Speedway, where I had my first experience with watching figure-8 races. I had no idea that these existed in real life, I thought they were just the domain of slot car tracks! We had a good time, and the Speedway is close enough that we were home before midnight. Yup, I’m apparently an old lady now.

New Schwalbe “Delta Cruisers” on my 1972 Raleigh Sports.

Sunday morning started with a first come, first served come-and-get-it offer on Facebook, and I didn’t think Woody should pass it up. It wasn’t until after the (surprise, you’ll find out later) was loaded into the back of his pickup truck that we looked at each other and asked, what are we going to do with this? But we’re smart cookies, and between the two of us, we’ll think of something. After all of the fetching and depositing was complete, I finally got a chance to test the newly-tune Raleigh! The brakes, even with brand new pads, are still a disappointment (if not outright dangerous) but I doubt I’ll be zooming around at high speeds. The next project is to find myself a helmet that looks appropriate with an old English 3-speed, which may take some doing. So far, friend Erica’s idea to don an English equestrian helmet is sounding like a not-entirely-wrong option!

Now, how to fill the rest of the week?

Tuesday: A couple of simple tips for taking better photos of your friends.

Wednesday: Mmmmm, tiramisu!

Thursday: I’ll show you how to “upcycle” ugly old TV trays into customized decorator trays with spray paint and water-slide decal paper. Or how not to. Depends on how it goes. :)

Friday: Vintage Victuals. What are your suggestions for this week, dear readers?

 

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Filed under cars, collections, day job, kitchen, life-threatening clutter, sports

1972 Raleigh Sports

My hair has never not been unruly.

When I was wee, I had a (hand-me-down) red Murray tricycle. When my knees started hitting the handlebars, I graduated to a (hand-me-down) violet Schwinn Hollywood with coaster brakes. I loved that bike. I loved everything about that bike. Every spring I would sit in the driveway with a bottle of chrome polish and a shop rag, and my tiny fingers would lovingly polish the fenders, the wheels, the spokes. And eventually it, too, was too small. When I was in 6th or 7th grade, I got my very first New Bike. Again a Schwinn, my silver Sprint had a full 10 speeds. This was moving up in the world! It was…okay. A perfectly serviceable bike, and I rode many miles on it. It didn’t have the pizazz and style of the Hollywood, but having gears was a bonus. I eventually outgrew the Sprint and on the very rare occasion that called for a teenager on a bike, I’d borrow my sister’s semi-abandoned Schwinn Collegiate. At that point in time, the only adults who rode bikes did it for sport and I was no athlete.

1971 Schwinn Hollywood: “Graceful styling and a delight to ride.”

Fast forward a number of years, and mountain biking has taken off. At the time that I move to Colorado, my dad and his wife bequeath to me one of their two Giant Iguanas, with the statement that “I think it’s the law that you have to have one of these if you live in Boulder, right?” I am blissed. But I am still no athlete. I ride it to and from the supermarket on occasion, and that’s it. After throwing myself off the bike twice (and with great flourish), and feeling the pain of a beyond-empty wallet, I sell the Iguana for a piddling amount of cold, hard cash and pay a phone bill with it.

A few years later, my then-boyfriend secretly joins forces with my dad to buy me a new bike for Christmas. I am the very happy owner of a silver 1999 Trek 800, which still has the knobby tires for gripping the dirt but a somewhat more upright position which is better for my weak shoulders. We take it out on a couple of (flat) trails, and I ride it around the neighborhood in the evenings from time to time. I still have that bike, and it’s still in great shape, mostly because I so rarely ride it. It’s just too technical for me. No, what I really want is something more reminiscent of my old Hollywood, but with a few gears. I don’t need a lot, just, say, 3. But it has to have fenders. And a basket on the front, to hold a grocery bag. So I start window shopping. Used bikes on Craigslist cost just as much (and more) than some new bikes, plus carry the desperate need for a tune-up, so I stick with new models. Cruisers have the right look, but they’re heavy and clunky and single speed. Dutch-style bikes (think Electra Amsterdam) have the look and sometimes the gears, but the price tag is prohibitive. Pashleys are gorgeous all around, but there’s that dastardly price tag again. So I look. And I look. And I look.

Last Wednesday, on a whim, I search Craigslist again. I’d long ago learned to leave out the word “cruiser,” as that only brings up ads for crappy old bikes that people are asking astronomical amounts for (and I don’t really want a cruiser anyway). But for some reason, “cruiser” is what I type in. And there are the expected ads for $200 rust buckets that will require another $200-300 of work just to get running. At the bottom of the page is the header “Few LOCAL results found. Here are some from NEARBY areas…” and there, there is The Ad. The headline reads Vintage Raleigh Sport Bike Cruiser – $50. I click the ad. I see the photo (of a road bike, not a cruiser). I fall in love. I call the number in the ad, and get voicemail. I wait. I wait. I wait. I wonder if I’d misspoken my callback number. I wait. The next morning, I call again. Live person this time! I ask a few questions. I get the answers I’m hoping for. I make arrangements, and that Friday, I pick up My New Bike, a 1972 Raleigh Sports ladies (step-through) model in Coffee. Functional 3-speed Sturmey-Archer hub. Made in merry olde England.

Rideable, but this will someday be a “before” photo.

It’s missing its original Brooks saddle, frame pump and “touring bag.” It rattles. It’s dented, it’s scratched, it’s greasy and dusty and has a few bird feathers stuck to it. It’s beautiful. I’ll be getting new tires first thing, and then will start adding/replacing parts as need determines and budget allows. Stay tuned!

1972 Raleigh catalog, page 12

1972 Raleigh catalog, page 13

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Filed under family, nostalgia, shopping, sports, vintage

Boston. Finally.

Okay, let’s see what I can remember a week after the fact!

Friday, the 4th: As instructed, I called KT when I was on my way to Baggage Claim at Logan. It turned out that Teddy was already at the airport, so she told me to look for a silver car. I already knew what the personalized tags would say, so I saw Teddy before he saw me… which meant that he didn’t get a chance to wave the Colorado state flag that he’d purchased in anticipation of my arrival. He was able to work through his disappointment, and still had a chance to wave a set of New Mexico flags when picking up the THREE carloads of people who were to arrive a couple of hours later. We all spent the afternoon gabbing and drinking fancy Belgian beers and slurping spiked slushies in the backyard, and then it was time for a gluttonous FEAST of steamed lobster and grilled steak. (Yeah, I had neglected to mention my vegetarian tendencies. I knew that it would be rough on this crowd of foodies who were being so gracious as to house and feed me, so I reverted to omnivory.) Then Ted and KT brought out an American flag cake, AND a cheesecake, and we all found room in our bellies for just a little more. Feeling stuffed, we worked it off by walking the few blocks down to the local yacht club for a good view of the fireworks.

Saturday: We started the day with a walk around the perimeter of Deer Island. We saw lots of boats, and met lots of dogs. This was followed by more schmoozing around the backyard, and then we all walked back to the yacht club to await our golden chariot: a cruise around the harbor with Ted’s friend Larry on Larry’s boat. Larry traps lobster for a living, and his boat was large enough to haul 18 of us around in spacious comfort. We spent a few hours on the water and were getting ready to wind things up when Larry decided that he may as well pull a string of his traps out of the water and show us city folk how things are done. It was great to see Larry and his wife, Sandy, at work. There’s a poetry to the efficiency of movement that he’s developed over the years, and his passion for his work was evident. In fact, as we were later finishhing up a dinner where we celebrated Ted’s birthday with an intimate gathering of 34 people (complete with magic show performed by our Ordinary, Everyday, Magical guest of honor), Larry mentioned that even after 30 years, he was looking forward to getting up at 4am and getting back to the boat. That is, he was looking forward to it until we exited the restaurant into a blanket of fog. Everyone stumbled back to the Tiger Mews for dessert (of course!) of not one, not two, not three, but FOUR homemade pies, and leftover flag cake and cheesecake.

Sunday: We made it into Boston proper for a walk through town. By which I mean we took the T into town, walked about three blocks, and stopped at the Union Oyster House (oldest restaurant in the U.S.) for drinks. Feeling refreshed, we walked a few more blocks into Chinatown, and enjoyed steaming baskets of dim sum for lunch. We then headed back downtown and a few of us were lucky enough to get tickets for a Duck Tour! The “conDUCKtor” of our DUKW amphibious vehicle, South End Sara, was Jailbird George, and he did a terrific job. After a day in the sun, we headed back to the Mews for a delicious paella, and fresh coconut cake. And pie. And flag cake. And cheesecake!

Monday: We splintered into smaller groups of Shopping and Sightseeing, and while I know what you’re expecting, I actually joined the folks heading to the aquarium. And what an aquarium! Definitely a sight to see, with hauntingly beautiful jellyfish and electric eels and “shaaaahks” and rays and and and! We had just enough time to work our way up and down through the throngs of kids before we had to find our way over to Boston Beer Works, where we were regrouping for an early dinner before the game at FENWAY PARK. Yeah baby, first row in the grandstand, right behind home plate. Just a little bit of heaven. Of course, after last year’s trouncing of my Rockies by the Sox in the World Series, I had a hard time getting behind the home team. That didn’t diminish my joy at being in one of the last truly historic ballparks in the country, though. The Citgo sign! The John Hancock neon! The Big Green Monster! Oh, yeah, and (sigh), the Sox.

It had been 14+ years since I’d been to Boston, but I’ll try to get back a little sooner next time.

Tons of photos if you click on the one below.

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Bahstahn, part II

Fen. Way. PARK.

Yeah, that’s right, I have finally seen the Big Green Monster with my very own eyes. As we walked from the T station to the ballpark, the conversation with my dad went something like:

Ohmigod, it’s the Citgo sign! I need to get a photo.
Of what?
THE CITGO SIGN, Dad!
I don’t get it.

If you haven’t yet figured it out, I was not personally surrounded by baseball fans. I didn’t buy any memorabilia, because the “Big Green Monstah” T-shirt that I wanted didn’t come in a girlie cut. I took a bunch of photos, and I’ll keep the ticket stub. We left after the 4th inning (again, I was not with baseball fans) and piled 6 people into Laura’s car for the drive back to base camp.

Tomorrow, I return home to the land of Coors Field and the Rockies. Also, my hair should calm down to a point where it is no longer swelling into a sentient being and trying to kill me. This humidity is enough to make a gal want to shave her head entirely. Okay, that might be the humidity, combined with the sweltering heat. Every time someone asks me why I moved to Colorado when I neither ski nor snowboard, this very weather is the thought that runs through my head.

I would like to send a shout out, right here and now, to Dave & Jessi. My neighbors, who are also my friends, took it upon themselves to drive me to (and pick me up from!) the airport for this little trip. I know that their upcoming move to Chicago is the right thing for them to do, but I would like to publicly say: SUCKS FOR COLORADO. The whole gang here is very sad to see them go.

Okay, for tomorrow: photos, links, and more detail about food, some sightseeing, and whatever else I can remember. It’s been wicked cool, kids. Thanks fah havin’ me.

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Filed under family, friends, sports, vacation

Bahstahn, part I

I am unbelievably, and irrationally, tired. As I write this, it’s only 8:30 at “home” and a mere 10:30 here in my borrowed base camp. Under no circumstances should I be as wiped out as I currently feel.

(Excuse me. I was just interrupted by George, a cat who was last seen hissing at me in his best impression of a cobra. He is currently bonking me so hard that his paws are slipping on the hardwood floor. Fickle.)

Okay, so where was I? Ah, yes. Boston. It has been years since I’ve been in Boston, and never for a reasonable length of time. I have an uncle who lives in Boston, and he and his wife have extended an invitation to me numerous times. This time, however, the planets aligned just so, and a flock of friends descended upon them all at once for my uncle’s birthday celebration. Welcome to Tedstock: Three days of peace, music, and Ted. (Yes, my uncle was at Woodstock. 40 years later, a great story came out of it. You should ask him about it if you ever have the chance.)

I won’t download any pics until I get home to my card reader. A more detailed post (and links!) will accompany those. For now, you get:

  • Slushie drinks
  • Lobster and steak
  • Flag Cake and heavenly cheesecake
  • Fireworks
  • Walk around Deer Island
  • Harbor tour on a friend’s lobster boat
  • Slushie drinks
  • Dinner for 34 at La Siesta
  • FOUR pies (and flag cake and heavenly cheesecake)
  • Dim sum
  • Brief walking tour
  • Duck Tour
  • Slushie drinks
  • Big Ass Paella
  • Coconut cake (and four pies and flag cake and heavenly cheesecake)

Yeah, this weekend has been a lot about food. It hasn’t fit in very well with my vegetarian diet, although the lobsters most definitely met my personal requirement of having lived a lobstery life. I met the man who actually caught them, I was able to watch him at work, and while some passengers on his boat were a bit squeamish at the reality of the situation (including, I thought oddly, the two daughters of crabbers), I approve of the general decency and respect that this particular fisherman afforded the creatures involved. I actually felt better about eating lobster after seeing the process first hand. I did feel a little guilty about tossing the more-difficult-to-get-at parts into the trash, until the raccoons broke in overnight and made short work of the remains. I’m glad nothing was wasted.

In closing, I offer you a snippet of Jailbird George’s oral tour from the DUKW boat:

“The Bunker Hill Monument is an Egyptian obelisk in an Irish neighborhood commemorating a battle we lost, and erected on the wrong hill. Heh.”

Tomorrow: Fenway Park. FENWAY FEKKIN’ PARK. Oh yeah, baby.

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Filed under family, food, friends, sports, vacation

miniblog: Now batting for your Colorado Rockies…

The Rockies had their Cactus League opening game yesterday, and beat the White Sox 7-3. Go, Rox!

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